Sparrow Hill Road, Seanan McGuire
Published May 6th 2014 by DAW
Paperback, 312 pages
Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.
It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.
They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.
You know how sometimes you get so excited when one of your autobuy authors has a new book that you preorder it and wait and wait and wait and then you’re so excited you think you’ve already read it? Just me? I danced in my chair when I got my hands on an ARC of Seanan McGuire’s The Girl in the Green Silk Gown and decided to “reread” Sparrow Hill Road in anticipation. Imagine my surprise when I realized I was reading a brand new book! So… on to Rose’s story.
Rose Marshall is a beloved ghost aunt to the Price family in McGuire’s Incryptid series – one of my favorites – I know a ghost aunt sounds odd but just read them! When we meet Rose she’s been dead much longer than she’s been alive and she has tons of stories to tell. She rides the roads as a hitchhiking ghost preventing accidents when she can and when she can’t she tries to guide other souls home.
I should have known McGuire would write ghost stories that touch my heart rather than scare me. This is the author that got me obsessed with zombies (just her zombies – and just read Feed if you haven’t!). Rose tells her story going back and forth in time until we find out what happened on Sparrow Hill Road the night she died and why Bobby Cross still won’t let her be – that’s the part of this ghost story that gave me chills. We learn ghosts can make families of choice and that being dead doesn’t stop hurt and regrets. Listen to Rose’s stories – maybe you’ve seen her on the road in her green silk gown.
You can’t kill what’s already dead.